Nowadays, we’re all searching for suitable alternatives to established pharmaceutical drugs for our aches and pains. That’s particularly true in the USA, where reliance on opioids for pain relief has become a public health crisis of its own. It’s against this background and growing controversy that cannabinoids have emerged as a safe and effective alternative for supplementing our health.
Cannabinoid fans believe they also help ease some of the symptoms of common ailments, from stress relief to sleep improvement and pain management to appetite stimulation.
Almost everybody’s heard of THC and CBD, but now there’s a new cannabinoid on the block that’s attracting public attention. Delta-8 THC has taken a back seat for many years, but is now emerging as an important cannabinoid for healing and good health.
Here’s what you need to know about Delta-8 THC and what you stand to gain from using it.
What Is Delta 8 THC?
Cannabis plants contain hundreds of different kinds of cannabinoids. The term, cannabinoid, refers to any substance that links to the cannabinoid receptors of the brain and body.
These cannabinoid receptors occur throughout our bodies as part of a complex endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates many bodily functions. We’ll discuss the ECS a little more later.
Delta-8 THC is one of these natural compounds or cannabinoids. Unlike the well-known cannabinoids, THC (Delta-9), and CBD, Delta-8 THC occurs in very small quantities within the cannabis plant.
Delta-8 vs Delta-9 THC
Delta-8 THC is similar to Delta-9 THC in many ways but does host some significant differences based on one small structural distinction. While Delta 9-THC features a double bond on the ninth carbon chain of the molecule, Delta 8-THC’s bond is on the eighth carbon chain.
This small difference has a big impact on the way Delta-8 THC reacts with the brain’s CB-1 receptors in the ESC. For starters, while Delta-8 does affect the brain, it’s far less psychoactive than Delta 9-CBD.
People who use Delta-8 THC report an energetic, clear-headed buzz after taking this cannabinoid. There’s no crashing low afterward as some can experience with Delta-9 THC. In other words, the “high” associated with Delta-8 THC is less intoxicating than that of Delta-9 THC. For this reason, many users find they can continue with their daily tasks even more effectively than usual.
Delta-8 THC vs CBD
While both Delta-8 THC and CBD offer some health benefits, that’s where the similarities end. They’re totally different compounds and CBD does not interact with the CB1 receptors in the same way Delta-8 THC or Delta-9 THC do. Due to this, CBD has no psychoactive properties.
Another major difference between the two is that CBD’s been or is being widely studied and researched, while relatively little’s known about Delta-8 THC currently. However, like Delta-9 THC and CBD, Delta-8 THC’s reported having several health benefits too.
Delta-8 THC Benefits
The benefits of Delta-9 THC are well documented, and Delta-8 delivers more of the same, minus the anxiety and paranoia experienced by some using Delta-9. In fact, preliminary research suggests that Delta-8 THC could be just as if not more beneficial than both CBD and Delta-9 THC.
The reasoning behind this is because Delta-8 makes strong connections with both CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the ESC.
CB1 and CB2 are tiny receivers present in the human ECS. CB1 receptors maintain your central nervous system, heart, and glands, while CB2 receptors occur throughout the body. So, it’s easy to see that Delta-8 THC can have far-reaching effects on our overall health.
Let’s take a look at some of them in more detail.
Like Delta-9 THC gives you the ‘munchies’, Delta-8 THC can help stimulate your appetite, and it does it even better. In 2004, researchers tested Delta-8’s appetite-stimulating properties on mice. They found that it increased food intake by 22% compared with the control groups, including those test subjects taking Delta-9 THC.
Prevents Nausea and Vomiting
Researchers have known about Delta-8 THC’s ability to soothe nausea and vomiting for years.
A 1995 study conducted using 480 children undergoing chemotherapy, showed that Delta-8 THC had a 100% success rate in controlling nausea and vomiting associated with this cancer treatment.
The researchers used Delta-8 THC oil drops during the course of this study and found that they controlled both acute as well as delayed nausea and vomiting. In fact, cancer.gov describes some more benefits in its description of Delta-8 THC. What’s more, the children seemed immune to the limited psychoactive qualities of Delta-8 THC.
A review in the British Journal of Pharmacology during 2011, details evidence that the CB1 receptors of the ECS have a considerable impact on regulating vomiting and nausea in both animals and humans. Since Delta-8 THC binds to this receptor it makes sense that it can soothe an upset digestive system.
Those who’ve taken Delta-9 THC are well aware of its sometimes anxiety-reducing qualities. The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that Delta-8 THC has similar anti-anxiety qualities.
Although research into this is in its infancy, anecdotal reports claim that Delta-8 works as effectively as Delta-9 THC. The major difference is that Delta-8 produces a focused, calm “high” without the paranoia that sometimes follows Delta-9 consumption.
Anti-Inflammatory and Pain-Relieving Properties
A 2018 preclinical study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, describes Delta-8 THC as diminishing pain and inflammation in mice with corneal injuries.
In these cases, applying a topical solution of Delta-8 THC to the affected skin area helped diminish pain and inflammation considerably.
Promotes a Healthier Brain
Research conducted in 1987 and listed in the National Library of Medicine suggests that Delta-8 THC could help in the production of Acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter assists with memory, neuroplasticity, arousal, and cognition. This suggests that Delta-8 TCH helps with brain function and opens the door to further research into Alzheimer’s disease and even brain cancer.
Helps with Drug Withdrawal Symptoms
Another study using CBD, Delta-9 THC, and Delta-8 THC suggested that all three of these cannabinoids could assist with drug withdrawal symptoms associated with painkillers or opioids.
The studies used morphine-dependent rats and the results showed that all three cannabinoids helped reduced naloxone-precipitated withdrawal. Of the three, Delta-8 THC performed the best in these tests.
Delta-8 Produces a Clear-Headed High
Delta-8 outshines Delta-9 THC when it comes to recreational use. That’s because you’ll still enjoy all the good feels, like intense relaxation, caused by THC without any of the adverse side effects. What’s more, preliminary studies indicate that Delta-8 has a low potential for becoming addictive.
In about one in ten cases, Delta-9 THC can become addictive with regular use at high doses. There are two ways this can happen. In the first instance, a person with an addictive personality becomes physically and mentally dependent on THC to the degree where it affects their work and family life. In the second case, the person simply likes the high feeling so much, that they grow into a habitual addiction i.e. they simply develop a bad habit.
Technically this makes THC only mildly addictive and Delta-8 THC’s even less so. Since Delta-8’s less potent and psychoactive than cannabis, it lacks the potential to provide the powerful high craved by addicts.
What’s more, users build up a tolerance to this mental high faster, so Delta-8 has the built-in ability to prevent abuse. If you overuse Delta-8 THC, you’ll likely top enjoying the high.
In theory, those who use Delta-8 THC daily for medicinal use, would eventually experience no high associated with Delta-8. Studies into the addictive qualities of substances take 20 years or more to complete, so there’s no research to prove this theory yet.
Are you intrigued by Delta-8 THC? Check this out first. There are a few ways to experience the benefits of this cannabinoid.
How Do You Take Delta-8 THC?
There’s usually a little Delta-9 THC in all kinds of marijuana, but if you’re after pure Delta-8, you can ingest it in several ways. These are the most popular ones:
Delta-8 Infused Gummies
Gummies are a popular choice among cannabis fans as they’re easy to use, portable, and taste great.
Each container of gummies comes with easy-to-understand dosage instructions and it’s easy to chew as many or as few gummies as you need. Gummies have a good texture and a great taste too. You can get them in watermelon, apple, mango, and even birthday cake flavors, as well as vegan-friendly options.
You can buy gummies in small budget-friendly quantities, which makes them a good choice for those who are only starting on their Delta-8 journey. These chewy morsels deliver results within 25 to 45 minutes and wear off after about four hours.
If you enjoy smoking your marijuana or Delta-9 THC, pre-rolled joints are just the thing for you. These joints comprise a Sativa-dominant variety of hemp flowers rolled in terpene-infused Delta-8 THC distillate.
You’ll get about 0.8 g of hemp flower in standard pre-rolled joint.
Delta-8 tincture’s another easy way to get your Delta-8 THC.
You can apply it directly to your skin and skip experiencing a high altogether through this targeted application. You can also place few drops under your tongue where it enters the bloodstream directly via the sublingual artery. Lastly, you can add a few drops of the tincture to food or drink and ingest it this way.
Dabbing Your Delta-8
Dabbing’s a little overwhelming for first-time users since it produces an immediate rush. You also need some practice to handle a cigar torch properly, so it’s always best to enjoy your first dabbing experience with a friend who’s done it before.
If you’re comfortable with vaping, you should have no trouble with dabbing Delta-8 THC. The basic drill involves applying your cannabis concentrate to a hot surface, vaporizing it, and inhaling it.
It’s an exceptionally potent way to enjoy THC, so take it easy your first time.
This is what you’ll need to get started with dabbing:
- A Delta-8-THC dab
- A bong or dab rig
- A nail for placing the concentrate
- A dabber, to set the concentrate in place
- A cigar torch for heating the nail
Always ensure you buy only the best quality, purest products for dabbing. Things can go horribly wrong with inferior offerings.
This is the basic procedure for dabbing Delta-8 THC or any cannabis:
- Place some of the Delta-8 concentrates on your dabber
- Set it aside
- Switch on your cigar torch and aim the flame at the nail
- Once the nails heated, turn off the torch and set it aside
- Place your concentrate on the heated nail, then inhale on the dab rig and exhale
You might experience a bit of sticker shock when shopping for Delta-8 products. That’s because it takes manufacturers a lot of time, effort, and cost to extract Delta-8 THC from Delta-9 THC.
Remember, you’ll get more bang for your buck since Delta-8 THC is incredibly pure. It also acts fast, despite being a less potent variety of Delta-9 THC.
Is Delta-8 THC Illegal?
The main federal legislation that pertains to Delta-8 THC is the 2018 Farm Bill. According to this, it’s illegal to grow or sell any cannabis product containing more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC.
Since Delta-8 THC contains no Delta-9 THC and has a different molecular makeup, Delta-8 THC is legal in all states that allow cannabis products according to the 2018 Farm Bill. If you live in Delaware, Nebraska, Iowa, Utah, Alaska, Nebraska, Arkansas, Nevada, or Mississippi, you’re out of luck. These states forbid the consumption of all cannabis products.
Unfortunately, Delta -‘s under increased scrutiny at the moment, so we could see changes in future legislation regarding this cannabinoid.
More Natural Health Tips
If you’re willing to try anything legal and safe to ease your anxiety or pain, Delta 8 THC could be a good option for you. If you’re not quite there yet, there are other natural remedies for common ailments.